Karsner Discusses LEDs on NBC
December 14, 2007
December 14, 2007 - Assistant Secretary Alexander Karsner appeared on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams to discuss the advantages of using light emitting diode (LED) lights. LEDs are even longer lasting and more energy efficient than the popular compact fluorescent bulbs that many Americans are switching to. Karsner discussed how the use of solid-state lighting (which uses LEDs) over the next twenty years could replace up to 44 new, standard-size coal-fired power plants. The report went on to detail the many advantages of LED lights for consumers and for the United States.
The use of LEDs has the potential to save American households a lot of energy and money this holiday season. If you run Christmas lights on your tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days with traditional incandescent Christmas lights, you’d pay $23.95 in electricity. With LEDs, you’d only pay $0.54 for the whole 40-day period.
If every home in the U.S. switched to LED holiday lights, we could save $160 million in energy costs this season alone. If every US household switched all their lights from incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs to LEDs today, the United States would save almost $10 billion a year in our nation's energy bills.
The long term effect is potentially tremendous. By 2027, as described by Assistant Secretary Karsner in the NBC segment, annual energy savings from solid-state lighting would be the equivalent to the annual electrical output of 44 large power plants. At today’s prices, that would amount to more than $30 billion in energy savings a year. Furthermore, an active market for LEDs in all lighting uses in the U.S. would decrease the average total electricity consumption for lighting by 33 percent. This means that the amount saved by switching to LEDs would be greater than the total amount of energy used to light all homes in America today.
LEDs have great advantages over ordinary light bulbs: They are longer lasting (they have an operational life span of roughly 20,000 hours, enough to last for 40 holiday seasons); they are cooler than incandescent bulbs (thus reducing the risk of combustion in or around the Christmas tree); and they are more efficient (up to 25 strings of LEDs can be connected end-to-end without overloading your wall socket.)
Used in traffic lights, exit signs, large display screens (like those you see in Times Square), signal and interior lights in automobiles, desk lamps, under cabinet lights, porch lights, and street lights, LEDs are transforming the American landscape.
Watch the full video on the MSNBC Web site.